Eden Hazard: What Chelsea manager told me about Diego Costa

The Chelsea forward lifts the lid on Antonio Conte's advice for the Belgium forward on how to play with Diego Costa

Chelsea striker Diego Costa Photo: The Sport Review

Eden Hazard has revealed that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte emphasised to him the importance of trying to find Diego Costa on the pitch.

Costa and Hazard played a key role in helping Chelsea to win their first Premier League title under the popular Italian coach in his debut campaign in England.

The Chelsea duo struggled badly during the defence of the 2014-15 crown and were subjected to heavy criticism for their lacklustre performances under Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink.

However, Conte managed to get Costa and Hazard back in peak form as Chelsea won the title with two games to spare.

Hazard scored 16 times and made five assists on 36 appearances in the 2016-17 campaign, while Costa finished as the Premier League’s fourth-highest goal-scorer after netting 20 goals.

Speaking to Chelsea’s website about Conte’s message for the number 10 about how to use Costa to the west London side’s advantage, Hazard said:

“The manager said to me I have to try to find Diego Costa.

“When I play I always try to pass to him, or look for him to make a run which opens up the space for me to come inside.

“I always try to be close to him because I know it makes it difficult for defenders when there is two of you, or even three when Pedro or Willian are there as well.

“When we remain static it makes it easier for them to mark us, so I tried to stay close to him and play one-touch football, which worked well.”

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Chelsea lost 2-1 to bitter rivals Arsenal in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

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